Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday fit day

Our home lately has been one person that is sick with the stomach bug. It's this persisting little guy that makes you feel bad in waves and then okay and one of us keeps catching it.

Since we have had it last weekend, we haven't been hungry for meat entree dishes and mainly been craving smoothies (love strawberry mango!) and spaghetti. We are having pumpkin waffles tonight with the maple syrup Brandon's mom brought from Michigan. And I love the honey my mom brought from Ohio. We have added it to the tea and it makes it so good.

Mom with my sweet niece Kennedy
Anyways, it's def. been an adjustment and feels weird not making so many meat dishes. Anyone else out there rely on meat a lot? I feel like before Ryder we used to make more dishes with quinoa or beans. Maybe it's just more kids equals less headspace to cook elaborate dinners.

And it also means I am getting in a run tonight when Brandon comes home. It's pretty nice to have my Ava home with just me though. I miss her when she is at school and gymnastics.

I really enjoyed this article on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Runners. One of my favorite points in the article was that you have to make working out a priority and act like it's a to-do, not if I can get to.

What do you think? Right now, my goal is to run four times per week. Since I just started getting higher mileage in since this summer, I am trying to get in a good base and increase it with the half marathon in the fall. Ideally, I am trying to hit around 20-25 miles with this training cycle. The peak training will probably be 25-30 miles. I would someday love to do higher, but with little kids and family, I feel pretty good about this goal. It's manageable and won't get me injured.

I will hit my highest mileage this month after my four mile run tonight! Trying to hit 68 miles for September.

And just to have some sweetness with a fit day post, Brandon brought home a cupcake for me a couple of weeks ago from Georgetown Cupcakes. This cupcake was the single best cupcake I have ever eaten. Usually, I scrimp the top of the icing off the cake because it's too sweet. Oh no. Honey, I ate the whole cupcake (well, the kids ate some too). It was off the charts. Now I am planning a trip to DC just for their cupcakes!!

Making these famous blueberry muffins for Ava. They look awesome! And they mash some of the blueberries that are used in the muffins, which is a different technique than I am used to in baking.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Sunday Well Spent

It's a new week! I always tell the girls this at our Sunday family meetings. Last week might have been tough or great, but this is a brand new week that can be anything you want it to be.

Life has been a little slower lately. I feel like we are settling into our school routine and the girls are doing amazing. Ava's reading is getting better and she is finally using her glasses all of the time and Sophie is loving learning to write and read at school. She came home with a paper on friday and had written a sentence! So proud of her. She also is learning her colors words and practicing counting to 100. 

This weekend we did some stuff around the house and rode bikes down by the James River. The girls and Ryder rode their bikes the whole time. And then we watched the "Swiss Family Robinson" on Netflix. Best. Movie. Ever.  

On Sunday, Sarah and I met for our long run. We wanted to do 9 miles and we had a great time watching the sunrise and running. It's amazing how fast a run goes when you have a running partner! We also met up with Erin to run five miles last weekend and had a fun run.

We had a great time with Brandon's parents who came to visit last weekend too. The kids love having their grandparents here since we are far from family. Brandon and his dad went hiking downtown on Belle Island and the girls loved having time with their grandparents doing crafts and playing outside. 

Wing night. 

Our neighbor Karen let us use her kayak to go for a ride on the lake. It was a gorgeous day. 

Turtle tour time. 

All of the kiddos sunning themselves after playing in the water. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday!

Hi all!
It's Five for Friday time!

Brandon's parents are in town and the kids were so excited to see them again. And we have a date night tonight. So excited!

We did tempo miles today with a warm up and cool down mile. We both felt pretty strong and the darkness made running def. more "interesting." We did tempo around 9:35 for two miles, a great feat at 6 in the morning and the third one around 9:40.

Both of us agreed we felt good and could up the tempo pace. Next week is our 5k we are doing around our neighborhood. I decided I am going purely on feel and not wearing my garmin.

Five for Friday 

How cute are these costumes? It's their ode to the "Sandlot!" I love the red ruby lips and the white sunglasses.

And these leopard Jack Rodgers from Sweet Southern Prep are adorable. I love that they are the new neutral. 

I was just talking about hair detangled for kids and I love Unite's detangler system. It is a little expensive, but an 8 oz bottle lasts us almost a year. Bonus -- it smells like dryer sheets. Mmm.

Serious love of Teil Duncan, an artist from Charleston. Her works are super bold and bright and dreamy at the same time of beach life, umbrellas and beach conversations between glasses of frilly drinks. I would love a piece of her work! She reminds me of the Lily Pulitzer of the art world. 

Blushing Coast 

The last Five for Friday is going to Maymont. We visited it this summer with my parents who were in town and we had such a great time visiting and walking (walking a lot! Wear your sneakers!). The Japanese gardens were my favorite and the Italian gardens had beautiful roses in bloom. And Momma and Poppa were awesome and enjoyed the walk, which was pretty long (3 miles) and hot (90!). We loved having them here. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Richmond Half Marathon week 3 training

This morning was beautiful outside! I met Sarah for a run and we did just under 4 with our running to our meetings spot and back. We were both sore from our eight mile long run this Saturday, which we did amazingly! This cooler weather just makes running so much more enjoyable. Compared to our ultra hot Sahara long run the prior week--this felt doable. And we picked up a friend on the run who was running that morning for the half training. We call it mommy happy hour in the morning because so many moms are out running.

We had a great run though and it was nice to be outside after running on the treadmill yesterday. I started with zero motivation and did two of my surefire tips for more motivation.

Look at someone else running 

1. Pinterest motivation

Listen to some tunes

2. Workout songs
I love "Compass" and "All Night" for running -  I think it must help my cadence because they are perfect tempo run songs.

We have a full week this week. Ryder has preschool today and I get to help the girls at school. So excited to have some time to volunteer now that Ryder is in preschool (and he loves it!). And Brandon's parents are coming from Michigan on Thursday so the kids are excited to see them.

How adorable are these toasts for after school snacks? Since toast is the "new" thing or the "tip of the hipster spear." I thought they were super cute and healthy and that the girls would eat them up. Literally.

And I am fixing the comment section on the blog!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday!

A funny story...In high school I used to do announcements sometimes and my cousin Amber and I would do our "It's Friday!!!" cheer over the announcements. I can't believe they let us do pretty much whatever we wanted and we always tried to make it creative.

This weekend we are doing loads of house things and going swimming as a family activity since school has started. We are trying to be intentional about carving out family time since Ava is at gymnastics three times per week and Sophie is at dance on Mondays. Wednesdays are our only free nights during the week and Ava has vision therapy so we are finding our happy spot with scheduling.

It's Friday favorites day.

Chocolate popsicles 

We use Kroger organic chocolate milk (only one we like for this!) and add to popsicle molds. The girls and Ryder have been loving these for breakfast and I love them after a long hot run on Saturdays. They are loads healthier than store bought popsicles and only have a couple of ingredients.  I purchased the molds on Amazon. I made some chai popsicles too here. 


So I would love to put this in the kids' room or bathroom. It's super cute with a great message. And only $12! 

You Make me Feel Like Dancing print

I love this print and want to put it down in our living room that we are going to paint white and freshen up. Going with a white living room with current red carpet and painting our fireplace white. Fun household things coming up! This print is only $16.68! A huge one is $40. 

A cute way to add sparkle to family budget meetings

Money makeover worksheets. Genius for only $4.50! And they are downloads. 

And for the fifth Friday favorite, can we just say goodbye to summer? 

Sniff Sniff. 

Pottery Barn swim cover up and towel sale

Pottery Barn is having a sale on swim cover ups and towels (40 percent off). I always stock up now on towels for next year so I don't have to pay full price. And I love their towels because their cotton color doesn't come off the kids while they are swimming (happened before on other towels.) This is a great Christmas gift idea too with the monogram detail. 

I really miss our pool times and hanging out with the girls when they are here in the morning. School has been an adjustment and we love having them home! It's starting to be fun to have just Ryder time though. There is just something about the lazy days of summer and relaxing in our bed watching movies and eating toast and juice. 

Happy Friday! It's 72 and 0 humidity. Blissful. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Double chocolate banana muffins aka "sportsy muffins" or "after school muffins" or "freeze those babies muffins"

Yesterday at school pickup I had the whole crew on board. Ellie from carpool for gymnastics and Ava, Sophie and Ryder.

I made some yummy, but healthy pumpkin muffins that had only 1/4 cup of oil in them. Well, I loved them, but their molasses taste turned off most of the kids, except for Ava. None of them would eat them! I think the molasses made the muffins brown so they were expecting chocolate.

Ha. I had to laugh, because as a fellow chocolate lover I understand. So today I was really hungry for somewhat healthy, but tasty chocolate muffins.

I made my usual favorite banana muffins that I adapted from Martha (she uses sour cream and a little less bananas) and added some hershey's chocolate and chocolate chips at the end to top the muffins while they baked.

I died. They were the best muffins I have ever made, except ones that were made to be cupcakes! So good and great for after sports, or running since they have bananas and whole milk yogurt. And my UV lens broke on the first day of school while I was running home to get Sophie's kindergarten sticker with her bus route on it so pardon the light in the photos.

The light might be bright on this photo, but when you are done with scooping the batter into the muffin tins, top with chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. I had a little of both so I just used both. 

To die for. My mom gave me this plate about 10 years ago! 

Decadent chocolate that isn't all that bad for you! 

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins 
Adapted from Martha Stewart 

Makes I large loaf or 12 muffins

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 cup of sugar (you can use less, but it might affect the recipe)
2 eggs 
1/3 cup hershey cocoa
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur)
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup of very mashed ripe bananas (I used 2 bananas)
1/2 cup of whole milk plain yogurt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350. Butter the muffin pan with the butter wrapper you will use for the one stick of butter. 

With an electric mixer, cream the butter (room temp) and sugar until light and fluffy. Add room temp eggs beating well. Add hershey's cocoa.  

Add dry ingredients together and whisk (I don't sift) together and combine with butter mixture. Blend well. Add bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Stir well. Top with chocolate chips. 

Bake until your shish kabob stick is clean :). Cool on an oven rack. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Menu monday!

Good morning you all!
Today is a cooler rainy Monday in Richmond. The leaves are starting to fall and colors like rust and reds are littering our driveway. :)

We are excited to start a full week of school and Ryder had his orientation today. He did so great. He was so pumped to walk into his preschool "2's" class and find his bin and play with the cars and train table. He will go on Tuesday and Thursdays for about three hours.

For the first time in 7.5 years I will have 3 hours a day to myself! I am going to have an opportunity to volunteer at school for the girls and to attend Thrive at church. I also want to start painting the girls' room and our white trim and the living room! Whew! Maybe a little too overarching, but I am excited.

Do you ever get in a meal planning slump? I love these two recipes from GOOP and Smitten Kitchen. They look healthy and amazing.


Fried Green Tomato-Cilantro Relish


makes 2 cups

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ pounds green tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add the slices of green tomato in a single layer and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a plate.
2. When all the tomatoes are fried, add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then add the onions and garlic and cook over low heat until the onions are translucent and soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Finely chop the fried tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Toss in the onion and garlic, add the cilantro, mustard, vinegar, sugar, fennel, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mix thoroughly. The relish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of GOOP's Carrot ginger dressing recipe. 

avocado salad with carrot-ginger

This weekend I ran a very hot 6 miles with Sarah and it was intense. At the end, we just dowsed our head with ice water it was so hot. We are in week two of training for the Richmond Half Marathon in November. This weekend we do 6-7 miles for our long run and are doing 4-5 miles during the week on Tuesday/Thursday at 6 am. I love having my runs done by 7 and just need to get some strength training in at the gym on cross train days. Our goal is really to get to the race uninjured and feeling ready to kick some butt.: )

If you are dozy (yes, I made that word up) today with the rain and want to schluff off work, read about when Smitten Kitchen visited the Pioneer Woman. So cool. It's like the cool girls cooking club that I want to join. :)

Oh, how I would love to have Smitten Kitchen in my kitchen and the Pioneer Woman's amazing kitchen and pantry. It's half of the reason why I watch her show on Food Network!

Any long runs in for you this week? Any new menu items?